Top Four Carpet Cleaning Methods

The Pros and Cons Of The Top Four Carpet Cleaning Methods

If you aren’t sure of which carpet cleaning technique would best suit your carpets, then this article is for you. In this piece, we’ll be weighing the pros and cons of each so you can have an easier time deciding which option is right for you.

Professional carpet cleaners employ several carpet cleaning techniques to clean different types of carpets. Each method used has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. With that being said, how does one choose between the options available? This list of pros and cons should help you decide which cleaning method would best suit your carpet(s).

Carpet cleaning methods can be categorized in one of two cleaning techniques: dry or wet cleaning. The latter involves hot water extraction and may include cleaning with absorbent pads. Dry carpet cleaning, on the other hand, involves the application of chemical foams or powders by special cleaning machines with counter-rotating cylinders, brushes, or pads.

demo of man brushing carpet

1. Wet Cleaning

How It Works

Also known as steam cleaning or hot water extraction, this technique involves pre-conditioning the carpet with a chemical reagent that dissolves oil-based substances and soils present in the fibers of the carpet. The water inside the cleaning machine is heated to a point near its boiling point before being pressurized and getting injected into the rug or carpet. After about ten to fifteen minutes, the solution is extracted from the carpet using a vacuum.

Pros
– Eliminates dirt and stains that sit deep in the carpet
– Allows the use of chemical concentrates, high temperatures, and high pressure
– Allows for cleaning solvents to sit for an extended period so they can react with soils, particles, and other stains inside the carpet
– Chemical reactivity is facilitated by agitation using an extraction wand or grooming tool.
– Most commonly used carpet cleaning technique
– Recommended carpet cleaning method by industry cleaning professionals/experts and carpet manufacturers

Cons
– Requires the use of expensive equipment for maximum efficiency
– Relatively-long drying periods (however, this can be reduced by powerful drying equipment operated by competent cleaning technicians)
– Relatively-high cost factors

2. Cleaning with Absorbent Pads

How It Works

This cleaning technique is also known as bonnet cleaning and is generally used for light, routine maintenance. However, it can still be used as a regular carpet cleaning method. The process involves vacuuming the carpet first before spraying a chemical solution on to it using either an electric sprayer or a hand-held pump. The solution is then left to sit on the carpet for some time, so it reacts with the dirt, grime, and stains inside the carpet.

The bonnet or absorbent pad, which looks like a regular towel, is then placed on a rotary floor machine’s drive block and spun over the surface of the carpet at 100 to 300 rounds per minute. This action impregnates the carpet’s fibers with the cleaning agent before picking it up with the soils and grime.

Pros
– Excellent results with lightly-soiled carpets
– Simple, fast, and inexpensive

Cons
– Only cleans the carpet’s top one-third – it cannot reach any deeper
– Leaves chemicals and dirt on the carpet causing them to accumulate at the bottom

3. Dry Cleaning with Absorbent Compounds

How It Works

A powder that’s been mixed with special cleaning agents and solvents is spread over the surface of the carpet before being worked deep into the carpet’s fibers using a carpet scrubbing machine fitted with counter-rotating cleaning brushes. The unique powder, which is left to sit in the carpet for about ten to fifteen minutes, absorbs all the dirt and particles trapped inside the carpet before it is vacuumed up.

Pros
– A simple cleaning system that requires no specialized technical training
– Faster drying times. The carpet should be ready for use within about 20 minutes

Cons
– Can cause dust build up inside your home
– The absorbent powder could end up getting trapped inside your carpet, building up over time if not taken care of properly
– This technique is not suitable for deep cleaning a carpet

4. Rotary Shampoo/Dry Foam Cleaning

How It Works

A cleaning agent that helps suspend dirt and dust particles is first applied to the carpet before it is whipped up into a soapy froth and worked into the fibers by the rotating brushes of a unique cleaning machine. The foam is left to sit in the carpet for a while before it’s extracted using a vacuum.

Pros
– Rotating brushes agitate dirt and particles very well
– Fast and simple to apply
– The carpet dries much quicker as it is exposed to minimal amounts of moisture
– It is inexpensive

Cons
– This technique cannot achieve thorough soil and particle extraction below the carpet’s surface
– High temperatures are often not achieved
– High chances of excessive wetting i.e., should the equipment malfunction